By Al Giovetti
Aaron vs. Ruth: Battle of the Big Bats
Wanna be the best? Finally, you can! Aaron vs. Ruth: Battle of the Big Bats is the game baseball fans have long been waiting for. Choose and manage your grand-slamming dream teams - led by Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth - and play head to head against the computer or a friend. Aaron vs. Ruth boasts several new features traditional baseball sim fans will eat up, while the gameplay is pure arcade fun!
For the first time, a computer game has given life to every baseball fan's dream; seeing baseball heroes from eras past play right in front of their eyes. Through the use of advanced Motion Capture techniques and historical footage, players like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson come to life with amazing realism. You'll see Juan Marichal's high leg kick, Willie Mays' basket catches, Pete Rose's head-first slides, and Joe Morgan's "chicken wing"warm up.
"Aaron vs. Ruth fucuses more on great players than great game play. Pitch location window tells you the location of every pitch. Pitch speed radar gun gives you the speed of every pitch.
The old time fields are here including Ebbets Field, The Polo Brounds, and Crosley Field.
All the major stats including career stats and season stats are supported. More data is found on the internet sites for stats. Individual game stats are not tracked, because the designers felt that tracking game stats interferred with game play. We cannot figure out why the did not make the feature optional for those who obviously do not agree with this point of view. Standings are tracked in season and series modes.
Players statistics can not be accessed or edited. A skill point feature remotely increases the players overall skill without the refinement of changing individual stats. You also can switch a player from right to left handedness, which is of dubious value.
You can draft your own team, composed of all the great players to give yourself all the best, but you are limited in that Aaron must play against Ruth.
An arcade modes using traditional gameplay is available. The artificial intelligence and true to life, with decisions made by individual players whether to advance to the next base. Pitcher tendencies are exploited by computer controlled batters. Pitchers are replaced when they are not performing well.
The games graphics were rendered in two dimension and three dimensions. By using motion capture to provide the motion which is attached to pre-rendered models for the classic players. This turns the two dimensional image into a three dimensional object moving in the three dimensional world. Then the object is turned into a sprite with multiple facings so that the object looks natural from all angles.
AnimationOptical motion capture was used rather than the magnetic motion capture. Optical motion capture allows you to use many different angles providing cleaner motions than the magnetic variety used in most games. College players were used to provide the motion Mindscape captured.
Signature moves include Pete Rose's head first slides, Joe Morgan's chicken-wing elbow snap throw, Willie Mays' basket catches, and Juan Marichal's high leg kick. True to life physics simulates gravity.
Voice ActorsSeveral unique umpires were recorded for the play calls, so that you hear different voices.
Sound EffectsQ Sound was used to get the sounds of playing on the old fields
UtilitiesAn entire season of play can be simulated in a few seconds. You can also simulate one game at a time rather than an entire season. There is no seven inning streatch feature.
Multi-player FeaturesPlayer biographies are web linked, one click and you launch your browser and you are perusing the current biography and stats. You can play in two player mode where you play on the same machine with one using the keyboard and the other a game controller or a multiport controller. This mode allows each person to set their own pitching and batting so the game is essentially a pitchers duel .
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesEditors, Boot, volume 2, number 8, April, 1997, pg. 70-71.
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